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Reading Between the Wines with Raquel Willis; Wednesday, December 6th.

Raquel Willis: Reading Between the Wines

Join activist, Augusta native, and author Raquel Willis for a talk on her new book, The Risk It Takes to Bloom.

In store Wednesday, December 6th at 7 PM. Pre-order her memoir today to guarantee your seat.

THE RISK IT TAKES TO BLOOM: On Life and Liberation (Nov. 14) is a passionate, powerful memoir by a trailblazing Black transgender activist, tracing her life of transformation and her work towards collective liberation. 

In 2017, Raquel Willis took to the National Women’s March podium just after the election of Donald Trump, primed to tell her story as a young Black transgender woman from the South. Despite having her speaking time cut short, the appearance only deepened her commitment to speaking up for communities on the margins.

Born in Augusta, Georgia, to Black Catholic parents, Raquel spent years feeling isolated, even within a loving, close-knit family. There was little access to understanding what it meant to be queer and transgender. It wasn’t until she went to the University of Georgia that she found the LGBTQ+ community, fell in love, and explored her gender for the first time. 

Raquel entered a career in journalism against the backdrop of the burgeoning Movement for Black Lives and new visibility of the trans community. After hiding her identity on the job, her increasing awareness of violence plaguing trans women of color and the heightened suicide of trans teens inspired her to come out publicly. Within just a few short years of community organizing in Atlanta, Oakland, and New York, Raquel emerged as one of the most formidable Black trans activists in history.

In THE RISK IT TAKES TO BLOOM, Willis recounts with passion and candor her experiences straddling the Obama and Trump eras, the possibility of transformation after tragedy, and how complex moments can push us all to take necessary risks and bloom toward collective liberation.


RAQUEL WILLIS (she/her) is an award-winning writer, activist, and media strategist dedicated to Black transgender liberation. She has been the communications director for Ms. Foundation for Women, executive editor of Out magazine, and national organizer for the Transgender Law Center. Her writing has been published in Black Futures by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham, and Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America1619- 2019 edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha Blain, and within many media outlets. The Risk It Takes to Bloom is her first book.

Learn more about Raquel on her website and read an excerpt from Bloom online.

Date: 12/06/2023
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm